July 12, 2023

How to Use Intent-Based Marketing to Boost Sales (Updated)

Don Simpson

Updated on July 11, 2023: We’ve spruced up the article with additional examples and research related to intent-based marketing.

All companies invest in creating content and collecting data in an effort to uncover new opportunities and increase demand from existing customers. 

Sales and marketing teams use content and data to improve customer relationships, make their technology easier to use, and influence purchase decisions made by their target audience. 

The best way to influence purchase decisions? Having a clear intent-based marketing strategy, which allows you to leverage intent data to create content that targets potential customers interested in your solution. 

Tip: Get intent-based marketing working for you instantly with Lift AI. Determine the buyer intent of your audience and use it to customize specific actions. Try for free.

What Is Intent Data?

Intent data is a collection of actions (at any scale) that are used to express interest in a given offering. 

Depending on your goals, intent signals can range from specific actions (e.g. reaching out via chat) to key phrases (e.g. “schedule a demo”) used by potential customers. 

Intent data points are the foundation of your intent marketing strategy. Marketing teams that understand buyer intent data are more effective because they create campaigns targeted at people whose behavior shows a high probability of making a purchase.

For example, if one of your target accounts is researching your competitors, you can assign more budget to programmatic advertising that would show up at every search query. You focus your efforts instead of trying to reach everyone at once. As a result, you’ll get more high-quality leads for your sales and marketing team to follow up with.

How Intent-Based Content Impacts Your Sales Funnel

Sales teams know the true cost of getting low-quality, cold leads from mediocre marketing efforts.

In sales, time is money, and every conversation spent with someone who has low purchase intent is a waste of resources that could be directed toward pursuing leads who are interested in your product or service. 

When it comes to intent, sales and marketing teams should be perfectly aligned. Marketing activities should have a direct impact on the sales pipeline and constantly fuel sales prospecting.

Intent-based marketing works with either internal (e.g. your website) or external (e.g. search engines) data. Both are valuable for accurate targeting. A FocusVision survey from 2019 reports that 70% of potential customers visit vendors' websites and 67% use search engines to research products and services before making purchasing decisions. 

Tapping into this visitor demand with buyer intent not only reduces the cost of your marketing campaigns but also makes them more effective.

How Intent-Based Marketing Shortens Time to Purchase

No marketing budget has unlimited resources, which is why resource allocation is crucial to the success of any business.

Intent-based marketing directs campaigns or sales actions to people who are interested in your offering, which makes them more cost-effective compared to campaigns that cover broad market segments.

Even though you pay more per individual lead with intent-based marketing, the quality of every lead is much higher and has a higher conversion rate. As a result, you get better ROI and your sales team becomes more productive, generating more revenue from the same amount of sales activity.

How Intent Marketing Improves Email and Advertising Results

It’s common for B2B companies to use account-based marketing to identify target accounts and prioritize marketing efforts.

Intent-based marketing makes the conversion process more effective through programmatic advertising. The simplest form of intent-based marketing is searching for something in Google. If you look for “best CRMs in 2023,” a CRM company can assume a medium-to-high level of buyer intent and create programmatic ad campaigns related to search queries. Ads will then show up dynamically, based on how the buyer intent was revealed. 

Another buyer intent marketing strategy — serving relevant content to your leads through email to identify ideal customers with targeted messaging that would tip them over to purchase your offering. For example, a limited-time discount or a demo for a specific industry. 

While these examples work better than anything before them, they offer a simplistic view of what determines intent. What if those are students researching CRMs for a term paper or competitors clicking through your emails? None of that constitutes true purchase signals. You need extra tools to identify anonymous website visitors. 

The pinnacle of intent-based marketing is in real-time buyer intent as identified by AI — collecting and analyzing thousands of data points simultaneously.

How to Determine Buyer Intent With AI

Determining buyer intent by getting a call or demo request from a website visitor is not difficult. But gauging buyer intent without anyone actively reaching out is. 

Deciphering raw data online by hand is next to impossible. Any potential behavioral pattern can contain thousands of correlated data points. Companies need to use technology solutions that are created to analyze massive amounts of current and historical data, and identify patterns that reveal clear buyer intent.

Lift AI is a buyer-intent solution that leverages its AI and machine learning model to determine how likely your website visitors are to purchase your solution. In other words — their buyer intent.

What’s unique about Lift AI is that it works right out of the box, relying on more than one billion historic data points collected over 15 years of customer interactions. As a result, Lift AI can correctly identify the buying intent of anonymous website visitors, which make up to 98% of the average website traffic.

With Lift AI, you don’t have to worry about what intent data is or how to use it — the model reveals the high-scoring visitors (around 9% of all visitors) and can trigger an immediate engagement to your sales team through chat or another tool in your marketing stack. Visitors evaluated by Lift AI can be converted on the spot, before they slip away. At the same time, lower-scoring visitors can be offered a different experience, such as connecting to a nurturing bot or a self-help guide.

When your salespeople can identify anonymous website visitors with Lift AI and focus on those with high buyer intent, your conversion rates can go up anywhere from two to ten times during the first 90 days.

Take a look at companies that have done exactly that. PointClickCare increased its conversions by 400%, attributing over $1M of extra revenue to the Lift AI integration. Formstack grew its conversions by 420%. 

Try Lift AI for free — you get access for 30 days with no credit card required. The solution will automatically integrate into your enterprise chat (e.g. Drift or LivePerson) or another marketing tool when you add its JavaScript snippet to your website.

As the collection of data in the future will keep increasing, intent-based marketing solutions like Lift AI that help identify anonymous website visitors will become even more valuable for every marketer focused on improving conversion rates. So start now!

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